Seeking Perfection in Pinot Noir, by L.M. Archer in the April 2018 issue of Wines & Vines Magazine.
Seeking Perfection in Pinot Noir
Six winemakers in two states share their vineyard and winery practices
By L. M. Archer
“God made Cabernet Sauvignon, whereas the devil made Pinot Noir.”
If the devil is in the details, then Pinot Noir makers comprise an unholy lot. Pinot Noir cuts a cruel swath through winemakers who may be inattentive, ill-informed or uninspired.
In an effort to analyze domestic Pinot Noir production standards, six winemakers from two regions—Sonoma and Willamette Valley—share their viticultural, vinification and post-production methods here. The wines in this article retail for $45 to $90 per bottle. Read more here. Copyrighted Wines & Vines Magazine.
Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.
The Hedonistic Taster | № 37 | Silver Mountains Vineyards – Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.
by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne + Champagne ML
“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer
Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster, an intimate showcase of artisan winemaker trade samples. The title “Hedonistic Taster” derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by legendary Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.
These tasting notes focus upon Burgundy, bubbles and beyond, including emerging pinot noir and bubbles producers worldwide.
Today’s Tasting: Silver Mountain Vineyards – Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.
Nestled at 2,100 feet amidst a quietly spectacular redwood forest, Silver Mountain Vineyards sports vistas spanning Monterey Bay to San Francisco Bay. The nonconformist and former air force pilot/silver speculator founded Silver Mountain Vineyards in 1979.
His winery sits atop the sandstone-laden San Andreas Fault, within view of the North Pacific plate. O’Brien’s unfortunate proximity to both fault lines proved fateful when he lost the first winery and three years of production in the 1989 earthquake.
Rebuilding post-earthquake allowed O’Brien the opportunity to implement sustainable designs that support his tenant “to respect Mother Earth and set an example on how to save the planet.” Silver Mountain Vineyards now boasts one of the largest solar arrays in the Santa Cruz Mountains, an extensive rain water-collection system, shaded area to reduce storage, and an artificial cave for barrel storage. O’Brien contends it may be the most sustainable winery in the area.
O’Brien insists upon practicing organic farming, earning CCOF certification in 1991 for his efforts.
Today, Silver Mountain Vineyards produces award-winning estate and single-vineyard sourced, small-lot Burgundy-inspired wines – plus private, premium label winemaking for a few high-quality wine growers in the region.
Swedish sommeliers, top left Clockwise: Helena Wolff of Gothia Towers, Cathrine Suzeau of Koka, Rubén Sanz Marino of PM Vanner, 2016 Lily Bollinger Award winner Emma Ziemann, Thörnströms kök, 2017 Lily Bollinger Award WinnerTina Johansson, Robert Andersson of Pompette, interior of Koka, Jonas Sandberg of Folii.
“Sweden’s sommeliers are recognised as some of the best in the world. They’re also highly influential. L.M. Archer asks them what makes them tick…”
As a wine and lifestyle writer, my assignments immerse me in a myriad of topics. As a judge, I must taste and tipple through a slew of selections.
Here’s a glimpse through a sample of this past week’s itinerary:
As a wine writer, one of the stories I’m working on now for a vinous publication includes this young ‘old soul,’ Pascal Brooks. Pascal’s late father Jimi Brooks founded Brooks Wine in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and pioneered biodynamics in the region.
As a lifestyle writer, I’m sleuthing out a story for a regional publication on Bay area culinaries and luminaries helping to preserve area bee colonies from collapse, including Hum & Hive owners Jodi and Gary Maricich, here hosting a class on bees taught by bespoke beekeeper Emily Bondor of Santa Cruz Bee Company.
As a judge, I notched another year at the SF International Chocolate Salon – this one held at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. For unabashed chocoholics, this event’s for you – lashings of artisan chocolatier love, all under one roof!
But the entire situation bothered me. Why? Because I realized that I was more concerned about getting the interview done, than getting it right. I resented the non-renumerated time spent, time needed for my professional work. My heart just wasn’t in it. I lacked intention. I lost trust. I almost lost transparency. Almost.
In truth, blogging does not make me happy. Writing makes me happy. Professional writing makes me happiest.
Writing is a calling. It’s also a craft. Who knows why I find endless merriment in the tortured, meticulous summing and subtracting of words across a blank page, all in an endless quest to tell a story that rings true in people’s hearts, minds and souls? I just do. Hence my need to protect and honor this privilege.
May you, too, find the courage to protect that which feeds your soul. Cheers~
Always grateful for your comments – please feel free to share your thoughts below. Many thanks for your follows on social media.
Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes | redThread™. All Rights Reserved.
These stories happen because of an international brother-and-sisterhood of sommeliers and winemakers.
In Sweden, heartfelt thanks to “Team Nordic”: Marie Oskarsson, noted journalist and writer, Helena Wolff of Gothia Towers, Emma Ziemann of Thornstroms kok, Cathrine Suzeau of Koka, Tina Johansson, Rubén Sanz Marino of PM & Vanner, Robert Andersson, and Jonas Sandberg of Folii Wine Bar and La Paulée Nordic, and the fine media folks at Systembolaget.
In Burgundy, special gratitude to Virginie Taupenot-Daniels of Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne and the incomparable Ludivine Griveau, first female winemaker at Hospices de Beaune.
Enjoy the weekend, all!
Always great hearing from you below, and for your follows on social media – cheers!
Copyrighted L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.